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Texas Education Agency to Undergo Zero-Based Budget Review

Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, has instructed the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) to include the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in a zero-based budgeting pilot program for the upcoming session. The review will focus on administrative functions, grants and programs but will not include the Foundation School Program.

"There is no greater priority than education, which accounts for about a third of the state budget. Reviewing this agency's operations from the ground up will ensure we are making the best use of every dollar and prepare us for the school finance discussions ahead," Senator Nelson, the newly appointed committee chairman, said. "While the LBB has informed me there is insufficient time and manpower to use a zero-based approach for the entire budget, TEA is too important not to be included in this pilot program."

Including TEA, 12 state agencies will participate in the zero-based budgeting pilot program. Agencies that are a part of this strategic budget review will undergo a comprehensive and detailed analysis by the LBB that will focus on their mission and goals, performance, and cost effectiveness. While each agency will still go through the standard budget process as well, this review will result in additional information and recommendations for legislators to use as they develop the base budget.

The Senate Finance Committee will discuss the review of the TEA budget at their next meeting at 10 a.m., Wednesday September 24, 2014. They will also hear presentations from key state agencies about ongoing challenges that are impacting the state budget, including health care, state employee benefits, population growth and other budget drivers.

"As a former teacher, I am committed to ensuring that all children in Texas receive a strong education that prepares them for tomorrow's workplace," Senator Nelson said. "This process will help us build a budget that puts education first and prepares young Texans for success."

SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Denton and Tarrant counties. She is chair of the Senate Finance Committee and the highest ranking Republican in the Texas Senate.